ex·​crete | \ ik-ˈskrēt How to pronounce excrete (audio) \
excreted; excreting

Definition of excrete

transitive verb

: to separate and eliminate or discharge (waste) from the blood, tissues, or organs or from the active protoplasm

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Other Words from excrete

excreter noun

Examples of excrete in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Newborns typically start excreting meconium within the first 24 hours of life — your infant may even pass it during delivery. Annie Sneed, New York Times, "What Should Baby Poop Look Like, Anyway?," 13 Apr. 2020 Researchers found that when the kidneys excrete excess sodium, a domino effect occurs that reduces the body’s ability to fight bacterial infections. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "6 Eating Habits and Foods that Weaken Your Immune System," 6 Apr. 2020 Roots excrete some of it into the soil, feeding underground microbes, which poop and die and aggregate with decomposing flora and fauna to form humus, a dark, crumbly substance that is 50 to 60 percent carbon. Brian Barth, Popular Science, "The secret to curbing farm emissions is buried in the Stone Age," 1 Apr. 2020 But the disease does not appear to spread between horses; they are thought to acquire it from shrews, which can live in hay and secrete or excrete fluids containing the virus. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Virus Spread by Shrews Linked to Human Deaths from Mysterious Brain Infections," 8 Jan. 2020 The small amount of stable bismuth-209 that remains at the end is excreted in the urine. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Health," 1 Feb. 2020 The killifish eggs featured in the study likely withstood the swans’ digestive systems because the birds’ guts are somewhat inefficient, excreting still-undigested food in order to prepare the stomach for the next meal. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "A Swan Swallowed This Fish Egg, Pooped It Out—and Then 49 Days Later, It Hatched," 18 June 2019 New plants are spread by birds carrying or excreting the seed on new branch sites. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Calvin Finch: Ball moss, lichen, mistletoe. Only one is a parasite," 6 Feb. 2020 The weakened virus used in vaccines replicates for a short time in children’s intestines and is excreted in their feces. Jim Gomez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Philippines declares new polio outbreak after 19 years," 19 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excrete.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of excrete

1620, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for excrete

Latin excretus, past participle of excernere to sift out, discharge, from ex- + cernere to sift — more at certain

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Time Traveler for excrete

Time Traveler

The first known use of excrete was in 1620

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Statistics for excrete

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Excrete.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excrete. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for excrete


How to pronounce excrete (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of excrete

formal : to pass (waste matter) from the body or from an organ in the body


ex·​crete | \ ik-ˈskrēt How to pronounce excrete (audio) \
excreted; excreting

Kids Definition of excrete

: to separate and give off cellular waste matter from the body usually as urine or sweat
ex·​crete | \ ik-ˈskrēt How to pronounce excrete (audio) \
excreted; excreting

Medical Definition of excrete

: to separate and eliminate or discharge (waste) from the blood, tissues, or organs or from the active protoplasm

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More from Merriam-Webster on excrete

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for excrete

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with excrete

Spanish Central: Translation of excrete

Nglish: Translation of excrete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of excrete for Arabic Speakers

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